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Use Your Cell Phone Pics to Search for Information on the Web

We've learned now how cell phones can display bar codes or other symbols in lieu of airline, concert or ballgame tickets. If you happen to be a Sprint subscriber, though, your cell phone could soon be used as a scanner itself – but this new service goes well beyond bar codes.

A new visual search service from Thrrum claims it can scan just about anything that contains text and return relevant information to the user's phone. Think book covers, product labels, even train schedules. Essentially, as the company puts it, any text that you see around you becomes a hyperlink that can be "clicked" upon with your camera phone.

The user takes a snapshot of the product, sends it to for the Thrrum MMS Search, and the service responds with extended information on what it finds.

Thrrum also is offering a Visual Browser that users can download to their phones so they don't have to send a message.

For now the service, which is in beta testing, is free to any Sprint subscriber (although the Visual Browser does cost $5.99 for 12 months access). Standard text messaging and data rates will apply, of course. [Source: BetaNews.]

Tags: cellphone, scanner